7 Healthcast: Polluted produce
Shoppers pay up to twice as much for organic produce. Now, those concerned about both pesticides and their budget can turn to a recently released list that helps them pick and choose, buying only organic if the fruits and veggies have the highest concentrations of pesticides.
"If you're concerned about pesticides this is the list you need to focus on to buy organic," Richard Wiles, of the Environmental Working Group said.
Scientists studied 43 popular fruits and vegetables focusing on the amount of pesticides in each. The foods that carry the most pesticides were; apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes.
"Those are some of the most contaminated with pesticides where you should buy organic," Wiles said.
It's a special concern for parents. Studies indicate children may be more vulnerable to toxins in pesticides.
"They're smaller," Wiles said. "So they eat more food relative to their size. So they get a bigger dose of pesticides."
Washing and peeling doesn't help either. All the foods in the study were thoroughly washed before testing.
"Soft skinned produce absorbs more pesticides, or if they are grown close the ground they can pick up more pesticides," Steve Scrimpsher, of Sunflower Market.
The foods with almost no detectable pesticides have thick protective skin, or were exposed to fewer chemicals while growing. They include onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangos, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papaya.
This research comes from the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C.
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